Weather likely to play spoilsport in first phase of Lok Sabha elections on Udhampur seat

With the polling day for the first phase of polling for Parliamentary elections is just three days away, weather is expected to play a spoilsport as Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted rain on polling day.

According to the news agency, light rain is expected for isolated places in Jammu and Kashmir with generally cloud cover. But on April 19, the light is expected in twin districts of Doda and Kishtwar which are part of the Udhampur parliamentary constituency.

According to Director IMD Srinagar, Dr. Mukhtaq Ahmed, there is possibility of rain till tonight and the weather will remain cloudy with possibility of light rain in isolated places till April 18. “In Doda and Kishtwar district it will remain dry till April 18 with cloud cover in few areas. On April 19, light rain is expected in these two districts,” he said.

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The Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituency is going for polls during the first phase of polling in Jammu and Kashmir and this is one of the biggest constituencies in the country in terms of area and having more than 15 lakh votes. This comprises plains in Kathua district to hills of Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar districts.

One of the most underdeveloped areas of Jammu and Kashmir Marwah and Warwan also fall in this constituency which remains disconnected through roads as the only link the area has from Anantnag district of Kashmir region. Falling in Kishtwar district, these two areas don’t have direct road connectivity with the district headquarters.

To take polling parties and security forces in these areas and other hilly areas which are without road connectivity, election commission of India either ferry them in choppers or use other means and if the weather remains erratic, it can impact the electioneering process.

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The bad weather also impacts the campaigning of contesting candidates as they have to either reschedule or cancel the visits. A candidate, who was expected to visit Marwah, Warwan, Gulabgarh, Machail and a few other areas through helicopter today had to reschedule it. As the forecast is not so good till April 19, these areas may remain out of bound for political parties.

Earlier in 1996 the polling was postponed due to the bad weather and was rescheduled. When the BJP led government fell after remaining in power for 13 days in 1996, the polling for Udhampur constituency was held after that.

 

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